Rising country star Walker Hayes is blowing up at country radio with his highly unique hit, “You Broke Up With Me.”
The success of that song, as well as his debut album, “boom.,” has allowed Walker to launch the “Good as Gold Tour” this week with headlining dates running through April. He’s also got an opening spot on Kelsea Ballerini’s “Unapologetically Tour” this spring.
After years of trying to break through as a country artist, this success is a dream come true for Walker, as well as his wife Laney. His six kids back home are pretty pumped about their dad’s good fortune, too.
That’s right. Walker and Laney are parents to six kids with a seventh baby on the way soon. It’s a super-human task just taking care of all those little ones, and we can’t help but wonder how they make it all work with Walker on the road so much of the time.
It turns out Laney and their three girls and three boys have played a major role in getting this country career off the ground.
Walker tells Rare Country, “I find that Laney is a part of this dream and this career. So, she’s never like, ‘Oh, get home and get back to work.’ She’s very interested in what’s going on, and how songs are doing and what are people reacting to. She comes out on the road as much as she can, and so do the kids. We’ve all been doing this together. So, that’s fun. It’s not just like, ‘Oh, Dad’s gonna go have fun.’ I’m working, and I’m doing this for them, and I want to be an example for them. So, I want them to see me at work as much as they can.”
Before he got this shot at country stardom working with songwriter and producer Shane McAnally, Walker was working the night shift at Costco trying to make ends meet. By comparison, headlining his own tour is a real blessing for Walker and his family.
“We’re really appreciative—if that makes any sense—of the success,” Walker says. “It’s not a burden at all for me to go headline a tour. My kids and my wife are thrilled that I have that work, and that we have that career blossoming.”
When he’s home from the road, Walker makes a point to be present one hundred percent with his family.
He says, “When I’m home, I don’t pick up the guitar. I don’t practice a lot. I write a little bit, which drives [Laney] a little bit crazy ’cause she’s probably been missing me and she’s ready for me to focus on her.”
As you can imagine with six kids running around, Walker and Laney’s house is completely kid-friendly. Even Walker’s music room is open to the little ones, which leads to some interesting discoveries for Walker when he comes home from playing shows.
“I always come in and there’s piano keys that won’t pop back up ’cause something’s been jammed in [there],” Walker says with a smile. “I try not to get mad, but I’d rather them have that experience — play the piano all they want.”
He continues, “I think maybe I overcorrected in our house. I grew up in a house that everything was breakable, and you couldn’t dribble in the house or throw balls. Our house has holes in every wall and there’s drawing on every wall. So, that’s kinda how we roll.”
Walker sings quite a few songs about his love for Laney and their babies on “boom.” Check out one of our favorites, “Beckett,” which Walker wrote about his outgoing son.